President Trump: NLRB Needs Vacant Seats Filled

The Hill
Heather Greenaway
February 9, 2017

The Trump administration has wasted no time rolling back several of the onerous Obama-era regulations that have stifled employee freedom, crippled economic growth and hurt small businesses alike. Indeed, President Trump’s executive order directing his federal agencies that for every new federal regulation implemented, two others must be rescinded was a good one – signaling seriousness to keep his campaign promises to roll back government overreach and cut through bureaucratic red tape.

However, there’s one crucial step President Trump should take immediately to ensure his campaign promises become reality, and that’s to appoint two new, pro-business board members to fill the two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The NLRB, established decades ago by the National Labor Relations Act, was intended to be an unbiased arbiter of labor disputes, ensuring our nation’s workers were protected from unfair labor practices and enforcing the Act, while remedying violations. However, over the past several years, the NLRB has been unapologetically pro-union, carrying out Big Labor’s bidding while nationally, union membership has been in drastic decline as Americans turn their backs on union bosses.
We saw their pro-union bias in many decisions – from ambush elections to the recognition of micro-unions to the Joint Employer Standard. Speeding up union elections and eliminating the minimum 25-day period to allow employers time to prepare was a gift to labor bosses and originally thought to increase union wins. Micro-unions were another “gimmie,” redefining the traditional bargaining unit so that subgroups of a workplace could unionize when other attempts had failed. But perhaps no decision has sowed confusion and rocked the business community as much as the Joint Employer Standard, which redefined the employer-employee relationship, holding companies accountable for potential labor-law violations by their franchisees or contractors.

It’s been a tumultuous time for small businesses. Never before in history have we had a more activist, partisan NLRB – who cumulatively upended over 4,500 years of established labor law, according to a recent study conducted by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and the Workplace Policy Institute. The past eight years have seen the overturning of 91 precedents, and, “In each case where the Obama Board changed the law, the resulting new law became more favorable to labor interests than it did under previous Board rulings – frequently at the expense of promoting stable bargaining and economic growth and without regard for balancing the interests of business, labor and employees,” according to the study.

That’s why it’s so important to get new board members appointed, and soon. President Trump has named Republican board member Philip Miscimarra Acting Chairman, a tenured board member who has been a tireless advocate for pro-employer and employee policies that protect workplace freedom and America’s workforce. But he needs support in order to get to work restoring established labor law and advocating for the people’s interests, as opposed to union bosses’.

With Democrats in the U.S. Senate obstructing the President’s agenda at every turn, taking far longer than the historical norm to even confirm the President’s Cabinet nominees, it’s crucial these picks don’t get embroiled in the fight and controversy. That’s why we’re calling on President Trump to use his power to quickly name two Republican appointments to the board and leverage his bully pulpit to get them confirmed.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).


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AZ Daily Sun--Coconino Voices: PRO Act legislation would hurt local businesses

— 05.13.2021 —
By: Julie Pastrik Arizona businesses and workers have had an incredibly challenging year given the economic slowdown that followed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, local businesses and industries across the state are resilient and on the road to a strong recovery that will mean more jobs for Arizona workers and increased economic development to strengthen our communities. That is, as long as Congress does not move forward with potentially devastating legislation that would hurt local employers and employees alike while impeding our state’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, some members of Congress seem determined to do just that by pushing through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As harmless as the name may sound, the PRO Act would have serious repercussions for local businesses, particularly smaller ones, while undermining long-standing rights for employees and threatening the growing gig economy that has helped provide much-needed income for so many during this time. Arizona is fortunate to have leaders like Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who have both refrained from joining the vast majority of their Democratic colleagues in cosponsoring the PRO Act. In a slap in the face to Arizona workers, the PRO Act removes one of the most fundamental rights a worker has when it comes to voting in elections to determine whether to unionize: the secret ballot. Instead, workers could be forced to sign union authorization cards in front of other employees, their employer, or union organizers. This bill would also destroy workers’ right to privacy by allowing unions access to personal information, including their home address and personal phone number. If that doesn’t open the door to union intimidation and harassment, I don’t know what does. As if that was not bad enough, the PRO Act would create major new challenges for Arizona businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs, expand in their communities, and even keep their doors open. It would redefine what it means to be a “joint employer” under national labor law, greatly complicating existing relationships between franchisors and franchisees as well as between business owners, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors and suppliers. At the same time, it would interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it much more difficult for small businesses to secure a legal advice on labor issues. Particularly harmful during these times, the PRO Act would apply a failed policy from California to national labor law by using the “ABC” test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee. This makes it much harder to qualify as an independent contractor, threatening the freedom and flexibility that tens of thousands of Arizonans find in independent contracting and gig economy work. Ultimately, the PRO Act is bad public policy that only works for union leaders to inflate their falling ranks while threatening workers’ rights, undermining small businesses, and jeopardizing a growing part of our economy. This is not a good solution for Arizona, and Senators Sinema and Kelly should stay firm and not cosponsor this misguided legislation.
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